TOLEDO – *Information provided by Notre Dame Academy
NDA held a signing/recognition celebration for eight seniors who will play college sports.
Alexandra Speweik (43616) (St. Catherine) will play division one volleyball for St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights, New York.
Playing volleyball since she was 12 she understands that her sport is physically demanding. “We do a lot of cardio. People think because there's not much running on the court that we never have to do cardio, but that's a huge part of our training. When we're in long rallies or setting up the play we need that agility and strength,” she said.
The passion for the game is why Alexandra is looking forward to playing in college. As well as volleyball, she is involved in Asian Club, Fashion Club, and has completed almost 200 hours of service for her school and community.
Her freshman year she played varsity volleyball, was Second Team TRAC, and Honorable Mention All-District. Sophomore year she was NDA Varsity Captain, First Team TRAC, Second Team All-District, and Honorable Mention All-Ohio. During her junior year, she was First Team TRAC, First Team All-District, Third Team All-Ohio, and received the NDA Coaches Award. As a senior she was NDA Varsity Captain, First Team TRAC, First Team All-District, District Player of the Year, and NDA Volleyball MVP.
Angela Speweik (43616) will also be playing volleyball for St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights New York.
Ms. Speweik has been actively playing volleyball since she was 12 citing her interest in volleyball because her mother played the sport. “Volleyball is all about teamwork,” she said. “I love the game and the competition.”
“I am most looking forward to playing with girls from other countries and competing at a faster pace game,” Ms. Speweik explained. “I will truly miss my coaches and my NDA teammates.”
She is involved in Mr. NDA, Asian Club, Fashion Club, Appalachia Service Trip, and is an International Baccalaureate English Certificate candidate.
A four-year varsity volleyball player, she was also TRAC Varsity Honorable Mention, Second TRAC Team, Second Team All-District, and NDA Most Improved Player as a sophomore and First Team All-TRAC, NDA Varsity Captain, and Second Team All-District her senior year.
Kelsey King (43551) (Fallen Timbers / CK) will be committing as an equestrian at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.
Ms. King, a rider since she was two, gained her interest in horses from her mother who also rode horses. “I love equestrian because I get to travel all over the country and compete while meeting new people all the time,” she said. “I love riding and am so grateful that I received this opportunity to stay involved in my sport in college. I have never been a part of a team before in my sport so I am looking forward to the teamwork ahead of me.”
Ms. King cites current Olympian Mclain Ward and her main trainer Polly Howard (former Olympic qualifier) as her inspiration for riding.
She is an advanced placement student in English, calculus, chemistry, and an honors physics and Spanish student at NDA.
Sophomore year she competed in the Maclay Regionals and Taylor Harris Nationals, and had two - $2500 National Derby wins. Her junior year she competed in the Taylor Harris Nationals, and was third overall in Zone 5 for Junior Hunter 3’3”. Her senior year she was sixth place in the Taylor Harris Nationals, competed at USEF Pessoa Nationals and Maclay Regionals, had a $2500 National Derby win, won second place overall USHJA East Coast medal award, won a HJAM (Hunter Jumper Association of Michigan) Sportsmanship Award 2016, and was a HJAM 2016 Medal Finals Winner.
Katherine Garver (43537) (Fort Miami) will be playing lacrosse for Lourdes University.
She began playing lacrosse at NDA while in the 7th grade and has been playing ever since. “I thought it would be fun to try so I signed up. I loved it and I have been playing ever since,” she said. “I love the pace of the game and how every person on the team has an important role.”
“The constant bruises and pain from being hit with sticks or the ball,” is what Ms. Garver says is the biggest challenge in lacrosse. However, she loves taking the risks and pushing herself to be a better athlete.
Ms. Garver is involved in Pastoral Council Service Team, Pastoral Council Spirituality Team, Latin Club, Ski and Snowboard Club, SUA vs. NDA Flag Football, Appalachia Service Trip, Senior Kairos Leader, and Student Council at NDA.
In her community, she is a Diabetes Youth Services Leader, and a St. Joe’s Parish LifeTeen. She takes AP Environmental Science courses at NDA.
Ms. Garver played NDA Junior Varsity her freshmen and sophomore year, varsity her junior and senior year and was team captain her senior year.
Erin Fankhauser (43528) (Anthony Wayne JH) will play basketball for Calvin College.
Playing basketball since the first grade for the YMCA, she was inspired by her dad’s love of the game. “I love the competitiveness and the pace of the game,” she said. “I like that everyone is willing to come every single day and work hard for each other and the team.”
“One thing that most people don't know or realize about my team and sport is that having relationships off of the court is the most important thing,” she said. “I will miss the relationships I have made with the players at NDA. I will miss being on the court, as well as the bench, with them because what we have is very special.”
Her love of playing basketball is why she is looking forward to collegiate play. “I don’t know what I would do with my time if I didn’t continue to play,” she said.
Ms. Fankhauser is an honors math, honors anatomy, and honors Spanish student. She also found time to develop and host a basketball camp for children with physical and developmental disabilities. Members of the NDA basketball team supported her efforts and the camp was a huge success.
She played NDA Junior Varsity as a freshman and has been playing varsity since her sophomore year. She was a TRAC All-Academic her sophomore, junior, and senior year and participated in state tournaments her sophomore and senior year.
Mycala Duhart (43560) (Central Trail) will be playing softball for Capital University in Columbus, Ohio.
“I received a Team USA book with Natasha Watley on the cover when I was younger and I knew I wanted to be just like her!” she said.
She began playing at five years old. “I love playing softball because it is my sanctuary when I need to get away. I have met so many amazing people while playing,” she explained. “Even though I will definitely miss my NDA coaches and teammates, I am looking forward to playing in college because I can’t imagine my life without it.”
She is an International Baccalaureate Certificate candidate in literature, history, and music and a member of the NDA African American Club and Link Crew. In her community, she is a member of The Church on Strayer service projects, Law and Leadership Institution at the University of Toledo, and a Mentor/Tutor at the Toledo Padua Center.
Four-year varsity softball player, Ms. Duhart was also First Team TRAC, First Team All-District, NDA Most Improved Player her sophomore year and Second Team TRAC and District Honorable Mention her junior year.
Carly Szymanski (43612)( St. Catherine)will be rowing at Eastern Michigan University.
“Freshman year I heard about rowing and I was curious so I tried it and I love it,” she said. “It's very unique, harder than it looks, and it was different from others sports I have played.”
Rowing with new teammates and competing in new waters is what she is looking forward to most. “First, I will miss my team. They are not just my team. They are my sisters,” Ms. Szymanski said. “It will definitely be hard leaving them. I will also miss my coaches. They have helped me so much with rowing and I could not have asked for better coaching and support.”
She is an International Baccalaureate Certificate candidate in math and history and studies advanced placement history, honors choir and business. Ms. Szymanski is involved in NDA S.E.A.L Team and Euchre Club.
As a sophomore, she won the Hammer Award, won first place in jv category and third place in varsity relay at St. John's Erg Regatta, and fifth place at the Midwest Sprints Championships. Junior year her team won the Hammer Award and took third place in JV8 at St. Mary's Laddie Cup. Her senior they took second place in varsity category and third place in varsity relay at St. John's Erg Regatta, and seventh place at Midwest Sprints Championships
Brelynn Hampton-Bey (43614) will play basketball for The University of Massachusetts.
Ms. Hampton-Bey credits her dad for helping spark her interest in basketball. Playing the game since she was six years she says that she loves the teamwork and competition. “Balancing school, social life, and family is a challenge, but I love being a great role model for the community,” she said.
She is also looking forward to collegiate competition. “I am going to miss my coaches and teammates but am excited about meeting and playing with new athletes,” Ms. Hampton-Bey said.
She is involved in African American Cub and Fashion Club at NDA.
Her freshman year she was City League Honorable Mention. Her sophomore year she was Second Team City League. Her junior year, she was TRAC First Team, District 7 First Team, Associated Press District First Team, and All-Ohio Third Team. Senior year she was the TRAC, Toledo Blade, and Associated Press Player of the Year; TRAC, District 7, and All-Ohio First Team.
This past season, she helped lead NDA to the state final where she was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Tournament by the Associated Press.